Into the ice hole: how cold water affects the skin and the body in general

 They say that cold water has a good effect on the skin and immunity, so an ice hole for Epiphany or at least a cold shower is always a great idea. But let's figure out how we really are.


They say that cold water has a good effect on the skin and immunity, so an ice hole for Epiphany or at least a cold shower is always a great idea. But let's figure out how we really are.

As our largest organ, the skin is constantly exposed to harmful environmental factors. Somewhere we protect it better, and somewhere worse. Somewhere we give quite intensive care, but somewhere we don't. In any case, on average, the skin is heavier than the protected skeleton and tissues of the organs inside. 


In order for the skin to effectively resist everything that falls on it every day, it must have good barrier functionI. Showering, bathing, dousing or swimming in the ice hole are the things that are directly related to this. 


Cold versus hot

Is it true that hot water strips the skin of natural oils, so that it dries faster, flakes off and generally feels uncomfortable. That is why in winter, when we take hot showers more often, even those of us who are usually not inclined to use nourishing body creams need them. Does this mean that the water must be cold? Let's see what advantages it gives.


Why cold water is good for the skin

Studies show that the practice of exposing the skin to cold water:


  • promotes stimulation and improvement of blood flow in the skin (and since the blood carries the nutrients and oxygen necessary for the body, this will have a positive effect on the condition of not only the face, but also the body in general);
  • inhibits aging processes (this, again, is due to blood circulation, but also due to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which causes the body to release hormones and chemicals designed to combat stress);
  • reduces the risk of dermatological diseases(namely, stress-induced acne , psoriasis and atopic dermatitis);
  • eases the condition with dermatological diseases (if they are associated with stress factors or if stress is a trigger for them).

An important point: if you have heart problems, blood vessels, or any other chronic diseases, it is important to talk to your doctor before experimenting with cold water.


Cold water for immunity: truth or myth

If it is more or less clear with the skin, then here is the question of whether cold water can strengthen the immune system, science refers to debatable... On the one hand, the effect of cold seems to really start the work of all body systems in a positive way. On the other hand, this approach may not be safe for many people.

Not to mention the fact that the research results, as scientists rightly point out, can be explained by the fact that healthy and physically active people are more likely to swim in an ice hole, pour cold water and take an ice shower. 

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